Comprehensive Guide: How to Run Propane Heater for Keystone Cougar RV

Running a propane heater in a Keystone Cougar RV requires careful attention to the propane system’s components and proper operation. This comprehensive guide will provide you with the technical details and step-by-step instructions to ensure your propane heater functions efficiently and safely.

Propane Tank Preparation

The Keystone Cougar RV typically comes equipped with one or two propane tanks, each with a capacity of 30 pounds (13.6 kg) or more. Before operating the propane heater, you must ensure that the tanks are filled and the valves are properly opened.

Propane Tank Capacity and Filling

  • The Keystone Cougar RV’s propane tanks have a standard capacity of 30 pounds (13.6 kg) or more.
  • To determine the tank’s fill level, use a propane tank gauge or weigh the tank. A full 30-pound (13.6 kg) tank should weigh approximately 50 pounds (22.7 kg).
  • When refilling the tanks, use a certified propane filling station and fill the tanks to 80-90% of their capacity to allow for expansion.

Propane Tank Valve Operation

  1. Ensure that the propane tank valves are in the closed position before connecting or disconnecting the tanks.
  2. Open the tank valves slowly and completely to allow the propane to flow freely to the regulator and appliances.
  3. If your RV has two propane tanks, open the valves on both tanks to ensure an uninterrupted supply of propane.

Propane Regulator and Pigtail Hose

how to run propane heater for keystone cougar

The propane regulator is a critical component in the Keystone Cougar’s propane system, as it reduces the high-pressure propane from the tank to a lower pressure suitable for the RV’s appliances.

Propane Regulator

  • The Keystone Cougar RV’s propane regulator should be rated for a maximum inlet pressure of 200 PSI (13.8 bar) and a maximum outlet pressure of 11 inches of water column (2.7 kPa).
  • The regulator should be securely mounted and protected from damage, with the vent facing downward to prevent water or debris from entering.

Pigtail Hose

  • The pigtail hose connects the propane tank to the regulator and should be made of high-quality, flexible material that can withstand the pressure and temperature of the propane system.
  • The pigtail hose should be equipped with a POL (Portable Outdoor Living) fitting on one end to connect to the tank valve and a regulator fitting on the other end.
  • Ensure that the pigtail hose is in good condition, with no cracks, leaks, or damage, and replace it if necessary.

Propane System Inspection and Leak Testing

Before operating the propane heater, it is essential to inspect the entire propane system for any leaks or issues.

Visual Inspection

  1. Check all propane lines, fittings, and connections for any signs of damage, wear, or corrosion.
  2. Ensure that the propane tanks, regulator, and other components are securely mounted and protected from potential damage.
  3. Verify that the propane system’s components are compatible and properly sized for the Keystone Cougar RV.

Leak Testing

  1. Use a leak detection solution or spray to check all propane connections and fittings for any bubbles, which would indicate a leak.
  2. If a leak is detected, turn off the propane supply and tighten the connection or replace the faulty component.
  3. Retest the system to ensure that all leaks have been addressed before operating the propane heater.

Propane Heater Operation

Once the propane system is prepared and inspected, you can proceed to operate the propane heater in your Keystone Cougar RV.

Furnace Ignition

  1. Ensure that the propane supply is turned on and the furnace’s power switch is in the “On” position.
  2. Set the thermostat to the desired temperature, and the furnace’s blower should start running.
  3. The furnace’s automatic piezo igniter will click several times, and you should hear a “whoosh” sound as the propane ignites.

Furnace Maintenance

  1. Regularly clean or replace the furnace’s air filter to ensure proper airflow and efficient operation.
  2. Inspect the furnace’s exhaust and intake vents for any obstructions or debris, and clean them as needed.
  3. Have the furnace serviced by a qualified RV technician at least once a year to ensure its safe and efficient operation.

Troubleshooting and Safety Considerations

While the propane heater in your Keystone Cougar RV should function reliably, it’s essential to be prepared for potential issues and to prioritize safety.


  • If the furnace fails to ignite, check the propane supply, ensure the thermostat is set correctly, and inspect the furnace’s components for any issues.
  • If the furnace is not producing enough heat, check the air filter, ensure the propane tanks are full, and verify that the regulator is functioning properly.
  • Consult the Keystone Cougar RV’s owner’s manual or contact a qualified RV technician for further assistance with any propane system or furnace-related problems.

Safety Considerations

  • Always ensure that the propane tanks are properly secured and the valves are closed when the RV is in motion.
  • Never operate the propane heater in an enclosed space or without proper ventilation to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide.
  • Install and maintain working carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in the Keystone Cougar RV to ensure the safety of you and your family.
  • Familiarize yourself with the location and operation of the propane system’s emergency shut-off valve in case of a leak or other emergency.

By following the detailed instructions and safety guidelines provided in this comprehensive guide, you can confidently and safely operate the propane heater in your Keystone Cougar RV, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience.